How you use Search Console depends on your role, your site, and your personal needs. Read the appropriate section to get started.
What is your role?
Not much time to manage my site
If you have a website on an automated web hosting platform like Blogger, Wix, or Squarespace, or run a small business and don't have much time to put into your website, you might not need to use Search Console at all.
However, it's still worth learning to manage your presence in search engines by reading the following guides. A little knowledge can go a long way toward helping people find your site. It should take less than half an hour to go through these materials.
- How does Google Search work? - Read this short guide to understand how Google works.
- Get your business/video/other information on Google - See the different ways to get your business or identity on various Google products, including Maps, Search, and YouTube.
- Optimize your site for search engines - Read this short guide about making your website more findable and useful to readers.
- Measuring your performance on Google - Is your site on Google? How many people found your site on Google? What is your ranking in search results? What were people searching for when they found your site? Learn how to answer these questions.
- If you think your site needs more help than you can provide, you might consider hiring a professional search engine consultant.
- Watch our video series for beginners on various topics, if you prefer learning through videos.
- If you are using WordPress, consider installing Site Kit from Google. This plugin provides simple but useful metrics that show how you're performing on the web, and doesn't require any specialized knowledge.
- If you are using any other site hosting service, sign up for Search Console Insights. Search Console Insights provides simple statististics and performance milestones for your website, right in Google Search. All you need to do is prove ownership of your site.
Beginning user (willing to learn)
If you're interested in improving your site's appearance on Google Search, and you're willing to put in a little time learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and Search Console, here is your getting started guide.
You don't need to understand HTML or coding, but you do need to spend some time thinking about how your site is organized and written, and be willing to make some changes to your site. The good news is that a little effort can go a long way in improving your search results.
SEO (advanced user)
If you're ready to spend more time digging into Search Console's reports, learning how Google Search works, and redesigning your site, you can really analyze and customize your site's performance on Google Search. This track assumes that you are familiar with basic SEO practices and terms.
- Understand how Google works with your site. There are a lot of things to know about how Google crawls and presents your site content. Start with this guide and learn what you need to know for your specific site.
- Browse the list of key tools and reports in Search Console. This list shows the most important tools and reports in Search Console. Be sure you read the full documentation for a tool at least once before you use it; otherwise you might misunderstand some subtle concepts in the tool, which will end up costing you more time and effort in the long run. You can find the full list of reports here.
- Learn how impressions, clicks, and position are calculated in Search Console
- Take advantage of the online help community, SEO office hours, twitter feed, blog.
If you build or manage the website, implement structured data, or generally do most of your work in a code editor, you'll use Search Console for monitoring, testing, and debugging your site code. Here are our recommendations:
- Learn how search works. Understanding the basics of crawling, indexing, and serving is important in order to help you debug Search-related issues on your site.
- Monitor for errors or spikes in the Index Coverage report, Performance report, and Mobile Usability report. If you have AMP pages or rich results, monitor the AMP status report or Rich result status reports, respectively.
- To inspect a single page, either drill down into a single URL from the appropriate report and click Inspect, or use the URL Inspection tool to inspect a specific URL. The URL Inspection tool provides information about all types of issues, including indexing, AMP, mobile usability, HTML, and scripting issues.
- Read the developer documentation for Search to learn about structured data, AMP in search, mobile best practices, API access to Search Console's tools and reports, and more.